A charity organisation has raised more than 230 tonnes of sugar to support the billions of honeybees affected by hurricane Ian.
Ian – considered the most powerful hurricane to hit the US State of Florida in over eight decades – caused substantial damage to Florida, South Carolina and Cuba between late September and early October of this year.
More than 150 people lost their lives due to the superstorm.
Now a Seattle-based nonprofit institution has given an overview of its initiative to support the apiarists of Florida who had been badly affected by the extreme weather condition.
Greater Good Charities cooperated with beekeeping supplier Mann Lake and food corporation Cargill to donate more than 508,800 pounds (230,788 kilograms) of sugar and more than 96,900 pounds (43,953 kilograms) of bee pollen.
Greater Good Charities representative Brooke Nowak told environmental news platform Treehugger: “Early estimates are that tens of thousands of hives have been destroyed along with many of the feeders used by beekeepers.”
Brooke – who is the organisation’s vice president for people programmes – added: “The storm also wiped out much of the natural forage used to feed pollinators leaving the bee populations who did survive at risk of starving.”
Brooke underlined that local beekeepers would take much longer to reestablish their apiaries than the initially predicted timespan of 30 days due to the “severe” destruction. She said: “There was massive damage to the equipment and the bees.”
Speaking about the main priority of her organisation’s bee support action, Brooke – who previously volunteered in a programme for abused children in Kenya – explained: “According to our partner, Mann Lake, the most important thing right now is keeping the queens well fed so that they continue to lay eggs of both the worker bees and future queens.”
Florida’s 5,000 registered beekeepers manage around 630,000 colonies, according to the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Around 1,500 apiarists were affected in Florida as Ian demolished an estimated 100,000 hives all over the state, according to the Florida State Beekeepers Association.
The pollinating activity of honeybees and the various solitary bee species is of great importance to the agricultural sector.